Former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire has
apologized for saying that he would avoid an openly gay teammate.
Stoudemire, who previously played for
the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks, currently plays for Hapoel
Jerusalem in the Israeli Premiere League.
Stoudemire and a group of players were
asked by Walla Sport, an Israeli website, how they would feel about a
gay teammate. All of the players except for Stoudemire answered that
it wouldn't bother them.
“I'm going to shower across the
street,” Stoudemire responded. “Make sure my change of clothes
are around the corner. And I'm going to drive – take a different
route to the gym.”
When asked if he was joking, Stoudemire
answered that “there's always a truth within a joke.”
On Wednesday, Stoudemire issued an
apology, saying that he was joking.
“I want to apologize for my offensive
comments against the LGBT community. These remarks were taken from a
larger interview where a reporter was asking me hypothetical
questions, and all my answers had a comedic undertone. The answers I
gave were meant to be taken as jokes & I am deeply sorry for
offending anyone. I am open to creating a dialogue to assist the
fight the LGBT community encounters daily and will continue to focus
on playing basketball,” he said.
Out former NBA star John Amaechi called
Stoudemire a “failed role model,” and compared him to President
“These are serious times and we need
serious people to lead important conversations, not petulant
man-children spouting puerile prejudice,” he tweeted with the
hashtag “RoleModelFail.” “There is already one too many of
those holding court in the media, and the world is poorer for it.
Within the world of sport there are plenty of true role models – on
and off the floor – whose words are carefully chosen to uplift and
integrate society, not join Trump and his grinning cabal in their
'locker room banter.' … Lastly, could someone please tell this man
to stop flattering himself. It's embarrassing.”
In 2012, the NBA fined Stoudemire
$50,000 for tweeting an anti-gay slur.
Stoudemire fined $50,000 for anti-gay tweet.)